Halloween is upon us! One of the most anticipated celebrations of the year is underway, and the weeks leading up are the most popular time for horror fans! From haunted houses to costume parties, October is the perfect time for some horror-themed tricks and treats! It’s time to snuggle up on the couch in an over-sized sweater and watch all your favourite Halloween movies. Hocus Pocus, Beetlejuice, and Halloween are holiday staples, but are there any new titles worth checking out this year? Some future classic contenders, perhaps?

I compiled a list of the 7  most haunting, groundbreaking and buzzworthy movies/TV shows this Halloween season! Check them out! #Top7

(Hulu original series now streaming. Also available on CraveTV.)

“The Stephen King multiverse is the setting for this psychological horror series that takes place in Castle Rock, Maine, which is a location familiar to fans of King’s work. Castle Rock explores themes and worlds that unite King’s canon, including the infamous Shawshank Prison. An anonymous phone call lures death-row attorney Henry Deaver back to Castle Rock. He is unsettled by his hometown, but he returns to help a sinister, mostly mute man being kept in a cage underneath Shawshank. Sissy Spacek and Bill Skarsgård, who starred in feature adaptations of King’s Carrie and It, respectively, are among the show’s stars.”

Stephen King truly is the King of horror. The remakes of his films are going through a  resurgence as of late with movies like It and Netflix’s Gerald’s Game doing so well with audiences and critics alike. 2019 promises even more live-action King, with Pet Semetary and It: Chapter 2 currently in production. But what about TV? Enter Castle Rock, this year’s looming creeper hit. From the very first episode, it’s evident that the Stephen King universe is both frightening and layered, rolled in drama, dipped in originality, and hiding in the shadows ready to jump out and scare the living (or dead) crap out of you.

(Netflix original series streaming October 26.)

“As her 16th birthday nears, Sabrina must choose between the witch world of her family and the human world of her friends; based on the “Archie” comic.”

The executive producers of Archie Comics’ Riverdale have conjured up a brand new teenage drama with the highly anticipated reboot of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Gone are the quirky laugh tracks and family-friendly misadventures of the 90’s. Now, we see Sabrina in a whole new light. She is a witch, after all. Something wicked this way comes!

(Only in theaters October 19.)

“It’s been 40 years since Laurie Strode survived a vicious attack from crazed killer Michael Myers on Halloween night. Locked up in an institution, Myers manages to escape when his bus transfer goes horribly wrong. Laurie now faces a terrifying showdown when the masked madman returns to Haddonfield, Ill. — but this time, she’s ready for him.”

Michael Myers is BACK, witches! Halloween is one of the most popular franchises of the season but it’s been a long time since the actual cast and creators behind the 1978 classic have collaborated. Jamie Lee Curtis has been back since the original (in both Halloween 2 and Halloween H20) but this particular sequel takes place 40 years after the original as if nothing in between had ever happened. An interesting take, but if the fan and critic reviews from TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) this past September are any indication, Halloween 2018 (as it’s been nicknamed) is carved out to be the scariest, most acclaimed entry of all.

(Netflix original series now streaming.)

“Flashing between past and present, a fractured family confronts haunting memories of their old home and the terrifying events that drove them from it.”

Loosely based on the 1959 Shirley Jackson novel of the same name, this 2018 Netflix original series boasts a 100% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes and is being hailed as “the first truly scary horror” on television. I for one could not stop watching! The writing, acting, cinematography and FX are exceptional and the scares are creepily authentic and frighteningly satisfying! From character building to plot synopsis, this first season of The Haunting of Hill House is gripping. Skip the overplayed jump scares of The Nun and The Conjuring Universe this Halloween and enter the chilling new universe of Hill House – or should I say, HELL House?!

(Now available to rent/own.)

“When the matriarch of the Graham family passes away, her daughter and grandchildren begin to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry, trying to outrun the sinister fate they have inherited.”

This psychological ghost story did very well at the box office this past summer but both fans and critics spewed contradictory reviews. Some absolutely loved it, hailing Hereditary as “the scariest movie in years,” while others hated it, accusing the film of being confusing with no real concept or plot. At the very least, it’s worth seeing for yourself. Movies like The Witch or mother! put “avant-garde horror” on the map and Hereditary attempts to kick that recipe up a notch!

(Amazon Prime original movie only in theaters October 26.)

“A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the troupe’s artistic director, an ambitious young dancer and a grieving psychotherapist. Some will succumb to the nightmare — others will finally wake up.”

Suspiria is a remake of a 1977 high brow horror of the same name and is being compared to other 70’s genre classics like “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Shining.” Italian-American director Luca Guadagnino serves up a Black Swan meets Eyes Wide Shut aesthetic and promises to lure audiences into a downward spiral of sophisticated horror. The entire musical score is done by Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke but with little press leading up to it’s release, Suspiria will either hit or miss at the box office. Something tells me it’s going to be one of those underdog thrillers everyone will be talking about, though. 

(Now streaming on Netflix.)

“A maniacal clown terrorizes three young women and anyone else in his way on Halloween night.”

Originally released in 2017, Terrifier is a spin-off of 2013’s All Hallow’s Eve, a horror analogy film featuring the “Terrifier” himself, Art the Clown. But it wasn’t until earlier this year – when the killer clown’s low-budget spin-off crept to the top of Netflix’s streaming list – that anyone paid any attention to this horrific freakshow. Terrifier is gritty, campy, creepy, and downright disgusting. Art the Clown, who effortlessly projects a level of psychosis even the looniest of serial killers would envy, is savagely ruthless, painstakingly memorable, and ironically terrifying! Mind you, the overall acting in this film is also terrifying, but Art’s bravado as a curious clown on a rampage is so gruesome, I was willing to forgive the rest of the actors just to see what happened next.  

I hope you enjoy all my recommendations!




About the Author

Joey Viola is the Co-Founder of MoJo Toronto and an LGBTQ community leader who utilizes his passion and flair for the art of writing by bringing a fresh perspective in reviewing entertainment and advocating for equality, tolerance, and social/political justice.